How to organise a baby shower
Baby showers are back in social calendars and if you're organising one for the excited mum-to-be it pays to be organised. In this guide to planning a baby shower we take you through the key elements to help you create the perfect, special day including guest list and baby gifts.
Baby shower essentials - what you need to know
Firstly, whether you're asked or volunteer to organise a baby shower for a relative or friends it's a big honour - congratulations! It's going to be a memorable day and one you and everyone involved will enjoy - especially the special guest, the mum-to-be. But there's no getting away from the fact that it takes work...a lot of work! But with some advanced preparation, a bit of help from friends and some good ideas to start you off you will be fine.
Traditionally, baby showers are a chance to gift useful essentials to the mum-to-be. These might be items she doesn't know she needs, like a Babycup First Cup. The world of bottles, sucky cups and open cups has not opened up to her yet!
It's also a time to celebrate friendship and the bond she has with her family and friends, after all, this support will be vital in the coming months and, let's face it, years.
One other useful tip when you start planning is to involve the mum-to-be. Whilst she's the special guest and probably has lots going on at the moment, it can be a good idea to discuss certain details like the guest like.
How soon before baby to hold a baby shower?
The quick answer to this question is usually six weeks before the due date, but that may not be right for everyone.
It's a good idea to discuss an ideal time with the mum-to-be to find out when she'll be relaxed and able to enjoy it. She'll need enough time to unpack and sort through presents and set them up in the nursery.
For some people, after the birth is a good time to host a baby shower. This is a combined meet-the-baby party and can suit parents who are adopting, for example. Whatever time you choose, the key thing is that the mum-to-be's closest family and friends can all be there. It may take a bit of calendar juggling so go armed with a few dates to pin people down!
Where to host a baby shower?
You can host the event in many different places but the main thing to think about is where the mum-to-be will feel most comfortable. This could be her home, your home or at a venue like a restaurant.
Hosting the party at your home or her home may provide more flexibility and may be more relaxed, but it will mean a clean up operation afterwards. It's worth thinking about all the gifts that have to be transported afterwards. This is where a home-based baby shower can come up trumps.
Hosting the party at a restaurant, cafe or party venue does take some of the stress off you in terms of food and cleaning up. Having waiting staff to bring round drinks and food can make the event more relaxing as well. And most venues will let you decorate and bring in a special cake.
Create the guest list
This is where consulting with the mum-to-be is a good idea. Leaving anyone important out is a big no-no!
Guest list numbers will depend on the budget and space available at your venue. Traditionally it was ladies only, but partners and male friends are now often invited. It depends on what the mum-to-be prefers.
Once you know the key people can make your chosen date, go ahead and send your invites to the remaining guest list four to six weeks beforehand and create a list of RSVPs so you know who to cater for. It is always worth sending a reminder email out 2 days before.
Baby shower gifts
Baby shower gifts are traditionally items the mum-to-be will need, but may not know she needs! These could include clothes, books, toys and helpful items like weaning items for when that comes around at six months. Whilst it's good to think about the immediate useful items she will need, it may be more useful to think ahead to 6+ months time when she's in a different phase with the baby and embarking on weaning or the baby is showing signs of sitting up, crawling or teething.
Here's a few gifts ideas from small independent businesses you may want to consider:
- Our Babycup First Cups are a great gift to help babies learn to sip from an open cup
- These super cute sleeping bags from Mama Designs will come in very handy
- Teething can be hard for everyone. These teething products from Gummee are a great idea
- Weaning is such a fun milestone, but it does get very messy! These clever weaning bibs from Tidy Tot are a must-have
Games and favours
This is where you can have a bit of fun!
Why not try a game of Who's that baby? Collect baby images of the mum-to-be, dad and other key family and friends (maybe their favourite celebrity crush!) and have fun guessing who is who.
Guess the baby weight is always a good one. Top tip - as the organiser and a trusted friend, go for an average weight and don't scare the mum-to-be!
Favours can be a lovely way to end the day. You can try a jar of sweets, candle or perhaps a biscuit. A personalised thank-you note will always go down well as well.
Good luck with organising everything, it'll be a great day to celebrate the new arrival!